Expat Ukraine Forum

Expatriate Cafe => Leisure, nightlife and sport => Topic started by: Glyn Thomas. on 14:16 28-May-2013

Title: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 14:16 28-May-2013
Just to say I've re-energised my dormant blog and hope to describe the process of building a house here in kyiv. The blog is v old and was started pre-Kyiv awareness. I hope I have enough time to keep it contemporary...

www.kievlife.co.uk (http://www.kievlife.co.uk)
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: clanholmes on 19:59 28-May-2013
No basement? Just a crawl space?
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: Ted on 20:04 28-May-2013
No basement? Just a crawl space?

You don't need much space to grow those "special mushrooms".
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: albert on 05:47 29-May-2013
VCO and I are actively looking for some land to catch, kinda a insurance policy for when, not if but when, our side of the ditch becomes too over run with tourists and small rental units. If and when we build, I can guarantee you it will have a full basement and be built to my Florida hurricane standard. All utility services will come from the basement. I have learned a LOT from finishing out the empty shell we bought. LOL. Most of the learning curve was done the hard way in regards to workers and 'master workers'.
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 09:00 29-May-2013
No basement but look carefully and you will see the house is built into a slope... the main entrance is therefore at the upper level (sleeping space - 3 beds and two bathroom and utility) and you will go downstairs to the ground floor open plan living room and kitchen (plus store and bathroom)

All topped off with an accessible flat roof for incubating more greenery.

 
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: clanholmes on 11:06 29-May-2013
No basement but look carefully and you will see the house is built into a slope... the main entrance is therefore at the upper level (sleeping space - 3 beds and two bathroom and utility) and you will go downstairs to the ground floor open plan living room and kitchen (plus store and bathroom)

All topped off with an accessible flat roof for incubating more greenery.

We call it a walkout

Interesting to see the difference in construction. People who think one type construction is good for different regions are incorrect.
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 11:55 29-May-2013
Well, its concrete up to level 1 then "Ceramablock" as they call it here - 380mm laid lengthways - plus insulation, vp and then a render. Floors and roof concrete. I like concrete.

Ground floor u/f heating - rads to level 1. Also have a neat French wood burning stove to cosy it up in winter.

Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: clanholmes on 14:08 29-May-2013
Well, its concrete up to level 1 then "Ceramablock" as they call it here - 380mm laid lengthways - plus insulation, vp and then a render. Floors and roof concrete. I like concrete.

Ground floor u/f heating - rads to level 1. Also have a neat French wood burning stove to cosy it up in winter.

Infloor heating via Glycol? I was going to do that with my garage pad in Canada, but too many dumb Canadians messed up so they will not do permanents for that.
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 13:12 03-Jun-2013
Work progresses... the walls commence!

http://kievlife.co.uk/ (http://kievlife.co.uk/)

Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 13:48 03-Jul-2013
The neighbours are revolting  ::)

More at
www.kievlife.co.uk (http://www.kievlife.co.uk)
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: BubbaGump on 14:07 03-Jul-2013
 :D
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 14:26 03-Jul-2013
No problem.

I may - at the end - give a broad brush costing of the items as that is the most difficult aspect at times.. working out budgets.

The target though is $500 psm shell complete - watertight.



Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 09:18 22-Aug-2013
Another update...

The peasants are revolting:
http://kievlife.co.uk/?p=180 (http://kievlife.co.uk/?p=180)
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Kord on 10:18 22-Aug-2013
Ace - thanks for all your posts & blog -

If you put together a cost break down at the end that would make my millenium.

Out of curiousity, in my experience, a concrete structure requires input/design by a Structural Engineer {in US a PE stamp would be required for this type of construction, as opposed to a simpler wood structure, which can be designed by a non-professional, up to a pre-defined # of sq. ft.}  A relatively simple concrete structure could be designed by an Architect/designer and checked/signed off on by PE/SE of record. The size of your retaining wall indicates that your house would most likely fall in to the latter category sans the intention to use the roof as some type of vegetable garden  :o {u r officially Ukrainian now}

Is Ukranian building design primarily by Architects? Seems counter to the notion that Engineers are masters of the concrete world which Ukraine has deep investment in to.

thx.

K.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 10:33 22-Aug-2013
It was fully designed by a structural engineer and architecturally designed by me (with the help of an International architectural company).  8) We had proper topo and geological survey as it is on a slope and we had no idea of the ground conditions.

The engineer ended up doing the foundations and then he evolved into the overall contractor although we are now employing specialists direct - underfloor heating - and a single company used to doing shop fitting for the finishing.

Current all up price for the 230 sqm is running at $809 psm inc finishing and (some) service connections. This will rise as I need to bribe GASK pay for my commissioning.

We started in late April - target for moving in is November.  ???

Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: Carlusha on 11:11 22-Aug-2013
The neighbours are revolting  ::)

More at www.kievlife.co.uk (http://www.kievlife.co.uk)
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: misterb on 15:27 22-Aug-2013
The neighbours are revolting  ::)

More at www.kievlife.co.uk (http://www.kievlife.co.uk)

Unreal that the simpletons next door don't understand that you're trying to hook up your house. We had a similar case last summer when our cable and pole were looking like they had made it through the great war, so we shut it down to trench it in and we could hear the screams 4 houses down. We shouted back over a cold one in good fun. 8)
Title: Re: Building a house
Post by: Carlusha on 16:12 22-Aug-2013
The neighbours are revolting  ::)

More at www.kievlife.co.uk (http://www.kievlife.co.uk)

Unreal that the simpletons next door don't understand that you're trying to hook up your house. We had a similar case last summer when our cable and pole were looking like they had made it through the great war, so we shut it down to trench it in and we could hear the screams 4 houses down. We shouted back over a cold one in good fun. 8)

I got the impression it affected the entire street! That is worth a lynch mob at the very least in such heat!!!

However, you're quite correct - Ukrainians don't do patience!  :(
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Kord on 08:47 23-Aug-2013
It was fully designed by a structural engineer and architecturally designed by me (with the help of an International architectural company).  8) We had proper topo and geological survey as it is on a slope and we had no idea of the ground conditions.

1. Would you mind to post the soil info? Like how many PSF the soil will support? Maybe in your soil report it has units of kPA? Also, is your foundation slab on grade or did you need footings?

2. I am impressed you spent the money for topo & geo - you don't mess about )
Did your Engineer bring in a sub-contractor to prepare those documents?

3. For your design {good job Mr. Architect} did you sketch up by hand then input in to a CAD drawing or give paper design to the Engineer?
Did your Engineer use CAD drawings or hand drawn? Did he need to use STAAD or w/e finite element analysis software they use in these here parts, to prepare calculations? Or did he calculate by hand? What codes are used here? IBC?

4. Did you have the option of installing a septic system or are homes required to tie in to city seweage?
Same question for water. Could you have installed a well?

5. Are you a Rennaissance Man or something?  ;)

The engineer ended up doing the foundations and then he evolved into the overall contractor although we are now employing specialists direct - underfloor heating - and a single company used to doing shop fitting for the finishing.

Current all up price for the 230 sqm is running at $809 psm inc finishing and (some) service connections. This will rise as I need to bribe GASK pay for my commissioning.

Does this $809 figure include the cost of your land plot?

We started in late April - target for moving in is November.  ???

I can only imagine the stress-level this project has impacted on your life. Your must be Job reincarnated. )
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 09:25 23-Aug-2013
That's a lot of questions!

1. Would you mind to post the soil info? Like how many PSF the soil will support? Maybe in your soil report it has units of kPA? Also, is your foundation slab on grade or did you need footings?

Every plot is different - we were fortunate in having quite high load bearing sand - many land plots are not much more than swamps - Ukraine generally has a high water table - and Kyiv surrounds especially. Our Foundation is a ground bearing slab cast as a box with the rear wall a retaining wall - a concrete diaphragm box.

2. I am impressed you spent the money for topo & geo - you don't mess about )
Did your Engineer bring in a sub-contractor to prepare those documents?
It was subbed -  a geo tech truck and auger did two boreholes. The engineer did the report and structural drawings

3. For your design {good job Mr. Architect} did you sketch up by hand then input in to a CAD drawing or give paper design to the Engineer?
I sketched it by hand and it was then entered in Autocad. Then I changed it from a pitched to a flat roof.. added a spiral.. and a raised section over the stairwell so I get a chimney - and probably wont need AC.


Did your Engineer use CAD drawings or hand drawn? Did he need to use STAAD or w/e finite element analysis software they use in these here parts, to prepare calculations? Or did he calculate by hand? What codes are used here? IBC?
No idea - all drawings were CAD though.


4. Did you have the option of installing a septic system or are homes required to tie in to city seweage?
Same question for water. Could you have installed a well?
We are connecting to City sewerage but only for top of the house - lower floor drains to a tank and is then pumped to the main drain in the road at the top. Water is mains - we had option of well but costs are prohibitive at 200+m

5. Are you a Rennaissance Man or something?  ;)
lol... Theres a phrase that a man should have a child, build a house and plant a tree. I've almost achieved them all

Quote from: ace123 on Yesterday at 12:33
The engineer ended up doing the foundations and then he evolved into the overall contractor although we are now employing specialists direct - underfloor heating - and a single company used to doing shop fitting for the finishing.

Current all up price for the 230 sqm is running at $967 psm* inc finishing and (some) service connections. This will rise as I need to bribe GASK pay for my commissioning.

Does this $809 figure include the cost of your land plot?
No - but it does include everything else.

Quote from: ace123 on Yesterday at 12:33
We started in late April - target for moving in is November.  ???

I can only imagine the stress-level this project has impacted on your life. Your must be Job reincarnated. )
I have a wonderful Ukrainian wife who has a full time job, is mother to our 2 year old and has rebuilt our dacha this year... but still battles with Kyivenergo and the rest of the monkeys - and keeps me in check. Helps that we don't argue - have the same taste and she indulges my whims. As our street is Raketnaya - Ukrainian for Rocket - I am currently trying to find one to suspend in the stair well. She just nods and says "good idea"

* Just modded this figure as I had not added in the roof waterproofing - I think if you allow $1000 you will not be far wrong taking into account reasonable fixed furniture costs.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Kord on 06:28 24-Aug-2013
That's a lot of questions!

Thanks a lot for your responses. An opportunity to "pick the brain" of someone who is actually doing what you are doing is very rare, at least for me. Hence all the questions  ;D I'm the type of person that goes to building sites, not when the building is built, but while it is being built - to see how a building is built - of course, I can not just hang around the local building department to peruse building permitting processes etc. LoL. So when someone posts their experiences, its very interesting for me.

As for home building/buying: Most people from my neck of the woods find an RE agent, visit pre-built houses, and attempt to buy what they can afford {or not afford as the case may be}. I wish you continued success, though I imagine a guy like you makes his success - not just wait and hope good things just magically happen :)

Your efforts are far and away more ambitious than mere house-shopping. Kyiv is lucky to have a person like you in its' midst, though I am pretty sure most would probably not recognize your value.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 10:23 11-Sep-2013
More updates... The screeding has been done.  :)

http://kievlife.co.uk/ (http://kievlife.co.uk/)
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: BubbaGump on 14:41 11-Sep-2013
Appreciate the update, Ace; please keep us posted...NOV is coming up fast!
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 15:57 11-Sep-2013
Just found out that Kyiv Gas will only look at our application after GASK has commissioned the building and that wil only happen next week after the windows are fitted.

Kyiv Gas need 3 months to deal with the application.

So although all the house will have been built in 6 months .. The wonderful efficient state monopoly need half that time to shuffle paper.

And no.. Bribing them won't help. They are bribed already just to do their job.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: BubbaGump on 16:41 11-Sep-2013
Would it not have been easier/simpler (Oh, what am I saying!  This is Ukraine!) to have bought a house and then retrofit everything?  Seriously?
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Carlusha on 17:00 11-Sep-2013
Would it not have been easier/simpler (Oh, what am I saying!  This is Ukraine!) to have bought a house and then retrofit everything?  Seriously?

Британских / украинский мафиози don't go that route! Materials have to be spanking brand new and dwelling built from scratch on virgin soil.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 20:34 11-Sep-2013
Extrapolate it back and I may as well have built in UK... This is a bespoke house.

No plaster angels.

No metal cills .. Plink plink plink...

No steps oops crash .. Uneven .. Yeah we do them like. That.

Jeez. It's a brand new house.

Wtf do I need a lean-to barn with a wonky roof / walls to start with?

It's not easy... But we are doing it.




Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: BubbaGump on 14:02 12-Sep-2013
Oh, don't misunderstand; I concur, wholeheartedly!  Just wanted to momentarily play "Devil's Advocate" out of curiosity! Thanks for the clarification!  8)
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 08:41 19-Sep-2013
Spiral staircase arrives

www.kievlife.co.uk (http://www.kievlife.co.uk)
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Ted on 10:54 19-Sep-2013
Pink.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 15:13 28-Oct-2013
hmmmm... more updates:

http://kievlife.co.uk/?p=223 (http://kievlife.co.uk/?p=223)
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: albert on 15:58 28-Oct-2013
Hmmmmm. Tried the link and all that came up was the 'V' sign and a song, something about tatooing the Union Jack on my f...y. But I don't have a f...y!
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Ted on 16:07 28-Oct-2013
Mine came up with a pure white page, like the damn snow that I hate here!!!
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 18:00 28-Oct-2013
Sorry.. Have changed the link...
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 08:57 01-Nov-2013
http://kievlife.co.uk/?p=228 (http://kievlife.co.uk/?p=228)

Final update for a while I think... have to get cracking on the interiors!!
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: misterb on 10:16 01-Nov-2013
The Cube. I like the contemporary shape, a lot of architects are building in rectangles and cubes in modern construction currently. Very much my style also. Very nice.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 11:18 04-Nov-2013
GASK deliver and the mini roofs are near completion

http://kievlife.co.uk/?p=237 (http://kievlife.co.uk/?p=237)
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 07:47 19-Dec-2013
So... will we be able to sit down on Christmas day and have a meal for 10+ people... ?

6 days to go and we have no gas, water, drains, kitchen, boiler... or come to think of it a turkey (but one has been ordered)

But I do have a Ukrainian wife in charge and the teams of workers are descending on the property in force...

http://kievlife.co.uk/ (http://kievlife.co.uk/)
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Ted on 08:01 19-Dec-2013
You can BBQ that turkey!! Gas not needed.
Water!?? Pfft!! It comes in big bottles!
Wash dishes?? Paper plates rule.
Keeping warm? Well just burn some of your neighbors fence. Because come the revolution they will burn yours!

Christmas has been changed for us till January 7th, as much as I think next Wednesday is Christmas, no one I know here is even aware of it. :-(  I am been borged.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: timinua on 08:45 19-Dec-2013
Your house is coming along beautifully, but the red tape must be driving you insane. We finished a house in the Kherson suburbs, but now it's up for sale because within the next 18 months, Kherson's airport should be up and running, and we're a little too close. So we are building another in another suburb.

Out here in the sticks, the red tape for building/getting utilities is significantly less.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 09:24 19-Dec-2013
We actually have every single scrap of signed stamped paper officially. Whist the corruption route is quicker - or thought to be an absolute in fact there are many things that work in your favour...

Think Brazil by Terry Gilliam....

EG: If you apply for an electrical connection the paper application exists - and in the world of red tape demands a response. If you are the guy in charge of sorting this issue out, first you turn up and bully... state that it can't be done.. or if it can it will need to have a new sub-station. This is the corruption phase where if you buckle you are doomed.

Time ticks on though .. you have made an application... the machine grinds on - consulting with the other machines - they all stamp the document... they pass it all on.. the strands of the web spin and spin....

Eventually a decision is reched and .. no sub station... just a straight connection and a date when the work will start. The "soviet mentality" when applied to infrastructure sometimes - in a weird way... actually works.

Read my post on the blog about GASK though... they are just blood sucking limpets
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 09:58 31-Mar-2014
Stairs are in... Should be able to move in within 4 weeks... Not bad considering we started 20 April 2013. Www.kievlife.co.uk (http://Www.kievlife.co.uk)
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 08:36 10-Jun-2014
Just to bring this topic to an end... the house is now finished

...along with the blog

http://kievlife.co.uk/ (http://kievlife.co.uk/)
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Ted on 11:40 10-Jun-2014
This was a great read, thanks for sharing!

I would make a genuine salo door knocker for ya, but it just makes a squishy noise when you slam it against the door.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: cc3 on 12:50 10-Jun-2014
Congratulations! Welcome home!
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Kord on 22:07 01-Jul-2014
Glyn you must have been born with the Midas touch.

Bold move with leaving your interior wall finish as concrete.

Kitchen looks great too.

Congratulations.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 07:54 02-Jul-2014
Thanks - it does cause some raised eyebrows but eventually I can see exposed concrete being all the rage... especially when they calculate they don't need plaster, paint and then carpet on the walls.

lol
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Ted on 08:47 02-Jul-2014
A few metal gears and industrial what-nots on the walls and you can start a Steam Punk theme.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Carlusha on 13:25 02-Jul-2014
Thanks - it does cause some raised eyebrows but eventually I can see exposed concrete being all the rage... especially when they calculate they don't need plaster, paint and then carpet on the walls.

lol

Any wall covering would do after 17 years exposure to carpeted walls in various relative's and friend's homes. Thankfully, my babushka has seen the light!
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Ted on 13:29 02-Jul-2014
Carpeted walls. Still don't get it. Never will. Looks stupid, looks ugly and god damn hard to walk on the side of a wall.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: BubbaGump on 15:37 02-Jul-2014
Carpeted walls. Still don't get it. Never will. Looks stupid, looks ugly and god damn hard to walk on the side of a wall.

...but great for alcoholics and those who don't know which end is up...
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: ash on 19:48 22-Aug-2014
I'm curious about how you found the plot of land, what it cost, and the general area of where it is? (How far to a metro stop?)
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Kord on 15:39 04-Apr-2015
Carpeted walls. Still don't get it. Never will. Looks stupid, looks ugly and god damn hard to walk on the side of a wall.

I may finally have an answer for the mysterious conundrum of the carpeted walls.

Whenever I visit my wife's mother's home my clothes gather a coating of old paint due to my brushing up against some walls that have not been re-painted in a while. The carpets are there to prevent old paint from rubbing off on clothes.

The other theory I have is based on the old -Soviet notion that a carpet meant that your family was better off than non-carpet owning families. Hence carpets were a kind of status symbol. Hanging that bling on your wall maybe was one-upmanship for mere floor covering.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: BubbaGump on 16:12 04-Apr-2015
...will stick with the rationale the wife gave me...soundproofing...based on experience, it makes sense...
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Carlusha on 17:38 04-Apr-2015
My other half said it began in the late 50s when cheap sheet Khrushchyovka building programme took over from the better, more solidly constructed Stalinka buildings. The standard of the former was so bad with extremely poor insulation AND soundproofing qualities, fitting carpets to the walls served fairly well to reduce this annoying feature of "modernity".
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: BubbaGump on 17:56 04-Apr-2015
My other half said it began in the late 50s when cheap sheet Khrushchyovka building programme took over from the better, more solidly constructed Stalinka buildings. The standard of the former was so bad with extremely poor insulation AND soundproofing qualities, fitting carpets to the walls served fairly well to reduce this annoying feature of "modernity".

...same explanation received...forms a consensus...good enough for me...
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Ted on 18:00 04-Apr-2015
That's why they put carpets on the walls?
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Carlusha on 18:33 04-Apr-2015
That's why they put carpets on the walls?

Perhaps they also believe Lionel Ritchie might visit?
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: steveo on 07:19 05-Apr-2015
The one answer I've heard for the 'carpet on the walls' conundrum is that the carpet was 'too nice' to put on the floor, and that it would get ruined if people walked on it...strange but true...
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Art on 18:01 29-Apr-2015
When I was in Istanbul, I was in a carpet shop where everything was hand woven. It took an Artist 6 months or longer to weave such a beautiful rug. They are made to hang on the wall. It is a form of artwork. Many very famous Artists designed these, but other people did the actual weaving. Tapestry!
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Ted on 19:07 29-Apr-2015
I bought a hand-made rug in Turkey when I was stationed in Sinop in the early 70's. It was beautiful, and we walked on that rug for 35 years before it got worn in one spot. $200. made in the local prison. Best souvenir I ever bought. Last time I went to Istanbul a few years ago the quality was not the same.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: kyivkpic on 21:07 30-Apr-2015
I bought a hand-made rug in Turkey when I was stationed in Sinop in the early 70's. It was beautiful, and we walked on that rug for 35 years before it got worn in one spot. $200. made in the local prison. Best souvenir I ever bought. Last time I went to Istanbul a few years ago the quality was not the same.

Did it look like the Dude's rug in The Big Lebowski? A rug like that really ties a room together.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Ted on 04:28 01-May-2015
Lucky for me, no.
Title: Re: Building a house in Ukraine
Post by: Glyn Thomas. on 20:14 19-Jul-2017
Hi all...

We?ve decided to move back to the UK for our children?s education so our house will be available for rent from 15th August 2017... email me if interested glyn@ace123.com

No change to the forum...  8)

photos and details here:

http://kievlife.co.uk/?p=337 (http://kievlife.co.uk/?p=337)